Left Front activist Konstantin Lebedev, jailed in October on suspicion of plotting with a Georgian powerbroker to incite mass riots in Russia, was released from a pretrial detention center on Wednesday and placed under house arrest.
The radical socialist and aide to movement leader Sergei Udaltsov, who was accused of the same charge but not jailed for it, will now be confined to his home until April 6. He will be monitored by law enforcement officers and not be permitted use the telephone, Internet or postal service.
He can be visited only by his close relatives, lawyers and Federal Prison Service officers. The transfer to house arrest was based on an Investigative Committee decision that Lebedev no longer had a "physical opportunity to delete evidence or pressure witnesses," his lawyer told Lenta.ru.
Wednesday's Basmanny Court hearing was conducted without informing Lebedev's relatives.
"The Investigative Committee considers house arrest to be a reasonable restriction measure for what Lebedev did," Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin said in comments carried by Interfax.
Lebedev was arrested shortly after he, Udaltsov and fellow Left Front member Leonid Razvozzhayev were purportedly shown in a nationally broadcast television program plotting with an influential ally of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to incite mass riots in Russia.
Udaltsov was placed under house arrest on Friday. Razvozzhayev is in a Siberian jail.